The World Poker Tour has landed in Los Angeles, CA (actually Commerce, CA, if you want to be exact), for the latest incarnation of the only tournament that has been a part of each of their 17 seasons of action. The L. A. Poker Classic Main Event at the Commerce Casino has once again brought out the best in the world – and those looking to make their mark – for poker combat, with the numbers already promising a million-dollar payday for the eventual champion.
Huge Number of Entries = Massive Prize Pool
The LAPC Main Event is a throwback to the old days of poker – $10,000 buy in, freezeout format – and the players haven’t shied away from the action. Through the first day of the tournament, 523 players have entered the event. Compare this to the past three years of the tournament:
You can easily see that this year’s WPT LAPC Main Event is going to be a special one. With late registration going on until approximately 4PM on Sunday afternoon (Pacific time), there are chances that the tournament could crack the 600-player mark, which hasn’t been seen since 681 players showed up for the 2011 running of the tournament.
Early Standings DO NOT Indicate Final Results
It may be a bit early to be looking at the leaderboard, but there are some familiar names at the top of the standings. Hyung Kim is a Commerce regular who now finds himself on the top of the premiere event on the Commerce schedule. Kim, with his 217,200 in chips, was able to get ahead of Blake Bohn, who has been a stalwart of the WPT circuit. With his 202,400, Bohn has himself set in excellent shape for another deep run in a WPT tournament (Bohn has 11 cashes in WPT events with one final table).
Here’s the rest of the Top Ten after Day 1 of the WPT L. A. Poker Classic (courtesy of the WPT):
1. Hyung Kim, 217,200
2. Blake Bohn, 202,400
3. Rupesh Pattni, 189,000
4. Rachel Dardon, 179,500
5. David Gonzalez, 158,500
6. Macradij Yacoubian, 155,700
7. Andy Park, 155,300
8. Brian Udo, 155,200
9. Cord Garcia, 145,600
10. Aram Oganyan, 141,000
There are a host of challenges that face the players that are in the Top Ten. Joseph ‘subiime’ Cheong is once again in the race for a major title, holding the 11th place slot with his 135,000 in chips. Also in the mix are Cary Katz (13th place, 128,700), former LAPC Main Event champion Paul Klann (16th, 125,500) and fellow former WPT champions Taylor Paur (21st, 120,700), Victor Ramdin (22nd, 120,000) and Lee Markholdt (26th, 111,400).
While it may be a foreign idea to those who have only come to poker in the last couple of years, there are players who have been eliminated and will remain that way. There will be a new champion of the event as the reigning title holder, Dennis Blieden, was eliminated during the eight rounds played on Saturday. He had plenty of company from former WPT champions that included David Paredes, John Hennigan, Rainer Kempe, David ‘Chino’ Rheem, Nick Schulman, Jesse Sylvia and Brian Altman, who will watch the remainder of the WPT L. A. Poker Classic Main Event from the rail.
Action Continues with Day 2 on Sunday
The WPT L. A. Poker Classic Main Event will move onto Day 2 – that’s right, no multiple start days here – on Sunday, kicking off action at noon. Late registration will continue until the start of Level 11, which is anticipated to occur at or around 3:30PM. It is conceivable that another 77 players could show up to take part in the LAPC championship event but, even if they don’t reach the magical 600 mark, the 2019 version of the World Poker Tour’s L. A. Poker Classic Main Event and its numbers will be the best in recent memory.